Where would there be a discussion of improper usage of "penultimate" to mean "ultimate"? Would there be a USAGE category? Sorry, I'm from w'pedia and I don't know the etiquite here. -justfred
- You can add a =Usage Notes= section if necessary, although it doesn't seem to be required here...is it really a very common mistake? Widsith 16:33, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
It's such a common mistake that it's not a mistake anymore. I've herd more people use it in conversation, on a menu. "your penultimate pizza" is either a dire warning or indicates this is now how the word is understood. 220.127.116.11 01:06, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
I would also point out that the interpretation that ultimate is "best" is a similar mistake and is accepted in this dictionary. 18.104.22.168 01:11, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
User:SemperBlotto just reverted the definition from
"# The next-to-last in a sequence. For example, in a sequence of events, the penultimate event is the one that precedes the final or ultimate event, but follows the antipenultimate event. "# The best."
There are two advantages that I see to the unreverted version (1) it makes the link between ultimate, penultimate and antipenultimate clear (2) it includes the definition which I most often hear people use (best) and I'm not sure what a dictionary is if not a listing of what words mean when people use them. What's the advantage of the reverted version? 22.214.171.124 22:56, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
- Penultimate does not mean best. If you think this is a valid modern usage you should provide evidence from printed sources.
- Antipenultimate is a spelling mistake - you mean antepenultimate.
- A penultimate item follows an antepenultimate one only if there are more than two items in the list, and therefore is not part of a general definition.
- Antepenultimate should be given in the ====Derived terms==== section. SemperBlotto 07:07, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
SemperBlotto, thanks for the comments, I appreciate it. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "penultimate doesn't mean best." Again, by the same logic ultimate doesn't mean best. And how can we interpret, "Riddle's Penultimate Restaurant and Wine Bar"  (you can find other reviews of the same establishment online), or this person's review finding another restaurant to be, "The penultimate restaurant in Nashville" what could that even mean? I'll admit the use isn't quite common and must derive from creative interpretation, but that doesn't make it invalid or not what people are trying to use. Perhaps it should appear with a note that snoots will laugh if you use it in that sense. 126.96.36.199 13:10, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
- I don't think that we accept the names of restaurants as proof of something's meaning. Also, people misuse words all the time out of ignorance. It takes a lot of people making the same mistake before it becomes an accepted part of the language. You can always raise the matter in the Tea room if you would like other people's opinion on this. SemperBlotto 07:16, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I am not a native English speaker. Please indicate a valid source for "second last" as a synonym of "penultimate". Andres 08:07, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
- Why? Mglovesfun (talk) 13:35, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
- I don't think Wiktionary can be reliable without sources or at least a possibility to find a source. I didn't find that phrase in any English dictionary. However, subsequently I found that some books used the phrase in that meaning, so that I was convinced. Andres 18:20, 26 May 2010 (UTC)